Renewable energy is needed to enable a low carbon economy and wind power is one of the most viable sources. The political consensus is there but there is a huge need for investments in the energy system if we are to achieve the 2040 target. Stena Renewable is a company based in Gothenburg that develops, operates and invests in renewable energy that Nordea recently supported with financing.
Stena Renewable is a part of the transition to a low carbon economy based on renewable energy. The company invests in wind power as they see it necessary, effective and environmentally friendly. The company today owns 9 wind farms with a total of 96 turbines in production.
Wind power is today considered one of the most viable sources for renewable energy. With the development of new technology and design of wind farms production costs have declined significantly. The production cost in Sweden today is 0,35-0,45 Swedish krona per kilowatt hour. Today about 11% of the electricity produced in Sweden comes from wind power.
There is broad political consensus on a national level that Sweden shall have an energy system based on 100% renewable energy by 2040. But all authorities and municipalities are not aligned with this target. Stena Renewable’s CEO Peter Zachrisson notes that; ‘it takes 5-10 years to develop a wind power project today. The Swedish Armed Forces for example have imposed restrictions for wind farm construction on 45% of Sweden’s land area; municipalities have an extensive veto right, and the courts have established a very narrow interpretation of the EU Directive on species protection. This combined makes the permitting process time consuming and uncertain.
A need for investments
There is a huge need for investments in the energy system. If we are to achieve the 2040 target Svensk Vindenergi estimates that Sweden needs to invest 200 billion kronor directly in wind power and if you include modernization of the electricity network there are estimates of an investment need of over 1,500 billion kronor. The network was built for a system based on a few mega electricity production units, predominately nuclear plants and large-scale hydro power. Now electricity is starting to be produced by many smaller units and this leads to bottlenecks in the system so both the local, regional and national grids as well as transmission lines to international markets need investments to increase transmission capacity and adopt the system.
-It is a very exciting time to work with renewable energy, Sweden has an opportunity to play a leading role, says Stena Renewable CEO Peter Zachrisson.
Given the size of the investments that are needed it is important that both the credit- and capital markets and long term institutional investors facilitates these. The pension and life insurance companies AMF and KLP for example invested 1,4 billion krona in Stena Renewable this year and Stena Renewable is considering further investments of up to 6 billion kronor in 150-200 additional wind turbines.
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